531 new COVID-19 cases and 1 more death in B.C.

PROVINCIAL Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix on Wednesday announced 531 new COVID-19 cases, including two epi-linked cases, for a total of 85,650 cases in British Columbia.

There has been one new COVID-19-related death in the last 24 hours, for a total of 1,394 deaths in the province.

Henry and Dix said: “To date, 355,340 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in B.C., 86,960 of which are second doses. Vaccine appointment bookings are now open for people over age 90 and Indigenous peoples over age 65. We remind everyone who is outside of these age groups to wait to call until your registration window begins.”

There are 4,861 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, with 9,051 people under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases. A further 79,309 people who tested positive have recovered.

Of the active cases, 244 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, 66 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people with COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation.

There have been 147 new cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 291 new cases in the Fraser Health region, 19 in the Island Health region, 42 in the Interior Health region, 32 in the Northern Health region and no new cases of people who reside outside of Canada.

There have been 51 new confirmed COVID-19 cases that are variants of concern in the province, for a total of 627 cases. Of the total cases, 109 are active and the remaining people have recovered. This includes 580 cases of the B.1.1.7 (U.K.) variant, 33 cases of the B.1.351 (South Africa) variant and 14 cases of the P.1 (Brazil) variant.

There have been no new health-care facility outbreaks.

Henry and Dix added: “We are now starting to receive supplies of the AstraZeneca – SII Covishield vaccine. This additional vaccine supply will be used to supplement our age-based provincewide immunization program.

“In particular, we will use this vaccine to assist with outbreak response in communities and within high-risk industries.

“What is important for all of us to remember is that with every outbreak that is quickly managed and every worker who is immunized, all of us have increased protection. With each person who is immunized, it means our friends and loved ones are safer and we are all closer to putting COVID-19 behind us.”